Friday, July 22, 2011

Walt's Words of Wisdom

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

I returned from a lovely beach vacation last week feeling refreshed and looking a bit more bronze than before I left. Vacations often come at the most necessary of times, when you desperately need a break and some dedicated time to do absolutely nothing.

Being a Certified Beach Bum could easily be my job title and I'm certain that I'd be pretty darn good at it. I love the beach, and I'm happy there, and as my brother-in-law told me this past week, I'm "in my element" there. As a current job career searcher, I am dedicated to finding the profession that will allow me to be as happy and "in my element" as much as I am when I'm at the beach.

I came across an article today profiling some employees at Disney, known as "the happiest place on earth" and I thought it was perfectly fitting to the hunt I am currently on. I want my workplace to have the same nickname and uphold some pretty serious happiness standards as Disney, and I would love to work with other employees who are just as happy and enthusiastic about their jobs as well.

Companies that emote this vibe of happiness have (at least) two things in common: they're very popular and they're very successful. And it's no wonder why they've become such great successes...we all know the incredible power and benefits of positivity and happiness.

For today's post, I thought it would only be right to feature a quote from the man who created the "happiest place on earth". Most of his famous quotes are truly inspiring, but this one in particular is one of my favorites.

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.    
-Walt Disney

As with many things, Walt was right on with this one. We have the power to turn our dreams into reality, but it takes a whole heck of a lot of courage. And confidence. And hard work. That's why so many of us think that our dreams will just be....well, dreams, and nothing more. I know I certainly have big dreams, as I'm sure we all do, and I know that sometimes I am holding myself back because I just don't have the courage to pursue them. Of course, we all aren't so courageous that we take on whatever lofty goal or dream that we have set, but I'm working on revamping my strategy so that I can make all of my dreams come true. 

On the road to this goal, we need to be constantly trying to find our own "happiest places on earth", even if we're nowhere near Disney. Find the place where you belong, where you can be purely happy, and where optimism surrounds you. That's what I'm looking for, anyway, and I know that many of my fellow OOs are too. 

So, do you have a "happiest place on earth", or are you still on a quest to find it?

Keep Smiling,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Optimism: The Magnet for All Things Good

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

My friend Kathy from Bliss Habits shared a lovely comment on my last post and included a great quote in it too. She asked if I had featured that one yet here on OO, and since I hadn't yet used that one and since I loved it so much, I thought I would share it with you today.

After reading the quote, I knew it was going to be one of the many on my Favorites list, but after seeing who it was quoted by, I immediately knew it was another one that was "meant to be" shared with me. Here's today's featured quote....I'll explain the many reasons why I love it so much right below.
"Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you." -Mary Lou Retton
You know, I couldn't agree more with this one. Optimism is most certainly a happiness magnet. You've probably read my many entries about the "signs" of positivity that pop into my life, or the little hints here and there that point me towards optimism. There is no doubt there is a direct connection between optimism and happiness.

I have also found that it is absolutely true that good things and good people are drawn to those who make optimism a way of life. Of course, we encounter a number of different people on a daily basis, many of whom can be considered fellow optimists, and some of whom can be considered pessimists. But what I have found is that only those that align with my optimistic outlooks have stuck around and have made an impact on my life. We all have to deal with those who are negative, but by remaining optimistic and trying to live a positive lifestyle, we will find that those in our lives that matter most are those with the same overall outlook.

Another reason I was also so excited about this quote was because it was spoken by Mary Lou Retton, one of the biggest names in the sport of gymnastics. As it turns out, I was a competitive gymnast for 10 years, and the sport was (and still is) a huge part of my life. When I was younger, sports in general took up most of my time, and gymnastics was by far the leader in that.  I loved everything about it and really learned a great deal from it, even though at the time, I had no idea was a great foundation it was giving me for the rest of my life. Though today I no longer compete or am directly involved in the sport anymore, there is not a day that goes by that I do not think about it.

I found it all too ironic that I would be introduced to a great new quote from a fellow Optimist and that it would be spoken by one of my greatest childhood (and adult) idols. Thanks, Kathy, for sharing this one!

Keep Smiling,

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Success: An Ever-Changing Definition

 Image: Google
Hello Optimists,

I have been thinking a lot lately about the many ways we can define success. There are probably close to a million ways you can distinguish our accomplishments from our failures, specify the good and the bad or just smack a label on a "bang" or a "bust". But all of that depends on the way we measure the things in our life. Does success lie solely in the weight of your wallet, in the size of your smile, in the trips you have taken, or in the business you have built? Well, it could. It could be one of those things or it could be all of those things. It could also be all of those things and more. So, success is clearly a complicated concept and one that is extremely hard to define. 

I'm not really sure what I think of it just yet. But there is a great quote by the famous Ralph Waldo Emerson that seems to get pretty close to what many would see as a clear definition that is right on target. Most quotes I feature are one-liners or a few short sentences that are easy to remember because my goal is to make them easy for everyone to implement into their lives. Today's is not so fact, it's quite long, so I don't expect this one to be recalled easily from memory. But what I love about it is that, like most of his writing, he does not hold back with his words, but uses their power to send a message of importance. I know that after reading many of his quotes, I walk away thinking that there is probably not a better way to describe things, and this is certainly one of those times. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson defined success with these words:
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded."
So after sitting around and trying to pinpoint what success really is, I couldn't just settle on one or two things. After reading this quote, I'm glad that I didn't because now I know that success means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. I don't know if we can make a better statement or definition of success than the great RWE, but we can sure try. 

If you were to rewrite his quote and include your own thoughts and definitions of success, what would they be?